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SHEIN Returns Are Free But Not Easy. Here’s How We Got Our Money Back and a Freebie Too.

SHEIN returns are free of charge but require patience

Yes, SHEIN returns are free but subsequent returns from the same order have a shipping fee taken out of your refund.

However, in our experience, this is the only clear-cut part of its return policy.

We found SHEIN returns were:

  • Time consuming: we were expected to provide a ‘reason for return’ for every individual item.
  • Confusing: we encountered pop-ups stating we couldn’t return our order, unhelpful chatbot responses and unclear guidelines on returning broken items.
  • Printer-free: thankfully, we didn’t need a printer for our return labels and we could save them to our photos app too.

Here, we give our honest review of SHEIN’s returns, including how long it took to get a refund and the refund without return freebie we scored.

SHEIN's returns may be free but they aren't easy.

SHEIN Returns: A Breakdown

To assess SHEIN returns, we focused on four factors: return policy, price, process, refund speed and communication.

  • Overall score: 3.8/5

SHEIN returns can be straightforward if you state the same, uncomplicated reason for return for each item and have no issues or customer service contact. Otherwise, it’s a hassle.

SHEIN’s Return Policy

SHEIN’s official returns policy states that you have 35 days from the date of purchase to return for a refund. Although you won’t get your money back on:

  • Anything not in its original packaging or without original tags attached/hygiene sticker intact.
  • Worn, washed, altered or damaged clothes.
  • Bodysuits, lingerie, underwear, jewelry, accessories, cosmetics, pet products, customized products.
  • Items labeled “non-refundable.”
  • Free gifts.
Our returns to SHEIN were free.

There are also specific return terms and conditions for certain items such as human hair wigs, shoes, bags and luggage, and electronics, including: 

Human Hair Wigs: SHEIN inspects human hair wigs for evidence of washing, bleaching, cutting or other alterations.

Shoes, Bags and Luggage: Items must be returned in original branded boxes and accessories and shoes should only be tried on a soft, clean surface.

Electronics: SHEIN won’t refund returned electronics if it finds damage due to customer misuse or if items are returned with missing parts, manuals or packaging.

Also, another bit of returns fine print worth knowing is that SHEIN conducts quality checks on returns to ensure they meet its return requirements. 

If it rejects the return SHEIN may send it back to the customer and charge a return shipping fee of $7.99.

However, we used and didn’t report any fault with one of our electronic items—a $11 (AU$17.95) robot vacuum—and received a refund with no questions asked, despite it being covered in flour (we tested it to see if it would pick up the flour, it didn’t.)

This is how the robot vacuum we returned to SHEIN looked before we packed it. We got a full refund for it.

SHEIN Cost to Return

Our returns to SHEIN were free, aligning with its official policy that states “the first return label is free, but for any additional return on the same order, a shipping fee will be deducted from your refund.” 

Additional returns from the same order cost $7.99 (AU$12.60).

Although returns aren’t as easy as they could be, we think it’s worth returning stuff to SHEIN if you’re unhappy with it.

SHEIN’s Return Process

SHEIN’s return process is all done through the app via “My Orders”.

Here’s how to make a return to SHEIN:

1. In the App click on “Me” then open “Returns” which is under “My Orders”, on desktop open “My Orders” (top right)
2. Select the order you want to return
3. Click the “Return Item” button 
4. Select items you want to return
5. Select your “Reason For return” from the menu
6. Choose your return and refund methods
7. Review the return instructions and mail the package to SHEIN
8. SHEIN receives and inspects your return
9. You get your refund

It’s all straightforward, although step 6 can be tedious. SHEIN has a list of “Reason For Return” that varies per category.

Some of SHEIN’s general “Reason For Return”  include:

  • Damaged or defective item(s)
  • Not true in size / measurement
  • Size too big 
  • Poorly made (Poor Sewing/Cutting/Accessory/Print/Embroidery/Threads/…)
  • Lack of accessories 
  • Poor quality of fabric / Faulty
  • Look different / Not as described 
  • Wrong item / size received 
  • Stains 
  • Style doesn’t suit my shape 
  • Don’t like so I don’t want it

We found sticking to one, uncomplicated reason like “Don’t like so I don’t want it” kept the process quick and easy as the system accepts that reason with no further action needed.

Specifying you want to return because of an issue with quality, even a simple one like “Looks different / Not as described” requires you to upload photos of individual items or the system won’t accept your return request.

Returning Faulty and Broken Items to SHEIN

Our experience of returning a broken item to SHEIN was overly complicated. 

The system also didn’t allow us to start a return because it said our order hadn’t arrived yet, so we had to use its unhelpful chatbot.

We found SHEIN’s chatbot unhelpful and the process of being transferred to a human long and laborious.

A glass candle holder we ordered as part of our SHEIN Home haul arrived smashed and we had to provide photo proof of the damage to customer service before it’d grant a refund.

The best part of our SHEIN returns experience was the fact we didn’t need to print a return label.

Instead, it automatically provided us with a photo of the label containing a QR code, which we could show at the post office for scanning and printing.

There was no charge for this at the post office, making it ideal for customers without access to a printer.

You can read more about our SHEIN hauls here, and on our experience of its refunds here.

SHEIN’s Refund Method

You can choose to have your SHEIN refund sent either to your SHEIN Wallet or the original payment form you used.

The fastest way to receive a refund is by opting for SHEIN wallet or gift card—both take 24 hours to process.

SHEIN Wallet is found under ‘My Assets’ in your account and its balances can only be used for your future purchases.

SHEIN Return and Refund Speed

SHEIN’s says it processes refunds within 7 business days of receiving a return.

Our SHEIN returns were processed and refunded to our credit card within two business days of us mailing them back.

We received two same-day refunds, one for a damaged item and for another we didn’t need to return (a pack of 10 candles worth $4.37 (AU$7.95).  

SHEIN’s refund speed depends on method and bank, as follows:

Refund Method Time for SHEIN to Initiate Refunds Time for Refund to Show on Your Account
SHEIN Gift Card Within 24 hours/
SHEIN Wallet Within 24 hours/
PayPalWithin 24 hours1-5 business days
Credit/Debit CardWithin 24 hours1-15 business days

SHEIN’s Communication Throughout Return Process

SHEIN’s returns process and communication are mostly automated, except for cases like returning a broken item.

We received the usual returns emails—one containing the return label, confirmations it had received our return and refund confirmations. 

More to Know About SHEIN Returns 

Cancellations and Change of Mind

While SHEIN offers 35-day free returns for returns if you change your mind, what about if you instantly regret an order? Can you cancel it? 

According to the official website, you can cancel an order provided it has not shipped. You can check the status of your order in the My Orders page on the SHEIN website.

SHEIN Refund Without Return 

SHEIN has no official information on its site about refunds without return. 

In its early days it would regularly refund without a return—as per social media reports—but that doesn’t seem to be the case any more. 

Out of the 23 items we ordered across three hauls we were refunded one pack of 10 candles worth $4.37 (AU$7.95) without having to return it. 

We couldn’t get any verification from SHEIN’s customer service on why it allows refunds without return on some items but we speculate it might be because it was a low cost item.